Posts Tagged ‘WWE Smackdown Live’

Randy Orton has been with WWE for over 16 years and someone who is that familiar with the WWE Universe needs to constantly reinvent himself. We’ve seen that from Orton during his feud with Jeff Hardy as a darker, more sinister Orton seems to enjoy inflicting pain upon his opponents.

Mark Henry talked about this new Orton after witnessing him thread a screwdriver through Hardy’s earlobe at Hell in a Cell.

“[Randy] is one of the most underrated guys of all-time,” Henry said on Busted Open Radio. “His accolades speak for themselves, his talents speak for themselves. Randy is getting meaner and more vicious. He started off very smooth and fluid. Usually guys like him don’t rise to the level of excellence that he’s rose to, but he’s been able to do that.”

Orton is a Grand Slam champion and has held the WWE Championship nine times in his career, but he’s yet to have the Universal Title around his waist. While that title is native to Raw and Orton is on SmackDown, Henry believes Orton should be a part of the World Title hunt.

“Randy needs to be in that conversation for ‘Universal Champion’ type roles. He’s that good,” said Henry.

Orton forced Hardy to leave Hell in a Cell on a stretcher so The Viper will likely move onto someone new to feud with. There’s no word on who that might be, but judging from Orton’s actions at SmackDown following Hell in a Cell, we can expect this same “meaner and more vicious” Orton moving forward.

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Zelina Vega made her SmackDown debut in May, but she has been associated with the WWE for a number of years. She worked a try-out match for the company in 2013 and then appeared as a Rosebud the next couple of years.

Vega was also cast in the upcoming movie based on Paige’s life, which is executive produced by The Rock, so the WWE always had their eyes on her. Once the movie wrapped in early 2017 Vega finally got the call she was looking for when WWE contacted her about training at the Performance Center full-time.

“It was a couple of weeks after the movie had finished filming that William Regalhad called and told me that they were going to bring me into the Performance Center,” Vega told Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. “He said that we have this idea so we will give it a shot and we’ll see if it works, if it does awesome, if it doesn’t we tried.

Vega was immediately put into a storyline involving Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas who had signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2015. While she worked on improving her wrestling skills, Almas worked on his English language skills and the two formed a sibling-like bond.

“Once I got there Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and I just clicked,” Vega stated. “I feel like now – it’s funny because people are like, oh my God, they are together – he is like my brother. We fight like brother and sister it is so funny. Even with the Tranquilo pose, he had done it for years and I was like, ‘what if I had done it under you?’ He was like, ‘no, it’s not going to happen. We are not going to do it like that.’ I was like, ‘no, trust me, it’s going to be good. Just trust me.’ He was like, ‘okay fine. In Japan we will do it.’ We had done it in Japan and it got a huge reaction.

“The following week Road Dogg had told us, ‘hey, that was a great match, let’s try that double Tranquilo thing that you guys do,’ and I looked at him with the biggest smile. So, that was how that whole double Tranquilo pose happened. We now see people in China doing it, but not only in the United States but all over different countries. I can’t believe how global it has become. It took a few weeks for them to call me and tell me that they wanted to give this a try. Some people want to think that it had to do with the movie, I think that it just encourages them. I think it was more about them never seeing me in this sort of light.”

The Double Tranquilo Pose has become one of the hallmarks of the Vega-Almas pairing. The duo defeated Rusev and Lana at SummerSlam.

SmackDown General Manager Paige spoke to The Mirror to promote the return of Total Divas. Below are a few highlights:

Her personal story being told this season:

“You hear a bunch of my stories, the year and a half I took out, just everything. All the trouble I got myself into… I was just very open about everything. I was very open with the taped sex that unfortunately got leaked, the popping [failing] of drug tests, I was just very open about everything because I want people to learn from my mistakes, you know?

“Obviously they get to see stuff like my neck injury, my emotions becoming general manager, it just has so much. I have so much to share with you guys and again you just see a different side of me, you get to see Saraya, more than you get to see Paige.”

Being able to come back from all the adversity she faced:

“Yeah I feel it definitely helped a lot and the people who kind of got me out of my rut – I was at rock bottom for a year and a half – and the people who got me out of my rut were my fans. They were just like ‘I know you can get out of this, you’re stronger than what you feel right now, I know you can make a comeback’ and it just inspired me like ‘you’re right, why do I feel like I’m giving up right now?’

“It just motivated me beyond… it motivated me more so than I’ve ever been in my life. Especially when my neck issues came around and I couldn’t wrestle anymore, I was like ‘okay, this isn’t the end of me, this is the start of something new, this is a different chapter of my story’. I just never wanted to give up.”

Paige also talked more about this season of Total Divas, an upcoming Chronicle of WWE Network featuring her, her conversation with Edge the day she retired and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Cincinnati’s US Bank Arena has revealed that WWE are set to exhume Starrcade once more, having revived the defunct NWA/WCW brand for a one off house show last November.

video posted by the venue confirmed a host of matches for the show, scheduled for 24 November, including WWE Champion AJ Styles going another round with Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura taking on Rusev, and Becky Lynch defending her SmackDown Women’s title in a steel cage match opposite Charlotte Flair.

Perhaps most exciting – or ominous – is an advertised special performance featuring Elias and hip-hop legend Ric Flair. A ‘Cincinatti Street Fight’ is also on the cards, with The Shield taking on Braun Strowman and his attack dogs Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. We’re guessing it’ll be like any other street fight, albeit in Cincinnati.

There was a lot of fervour when WWE announced the decision to bring Starrcade back last year, which soon dissipated when it became clear the show would be nothing more than a souped-up house show. Given the card for 2018’s do-again looks like the standard post Hell in a Cell loop, it’s probably safe to assume November’s show in Cincinnati will be much the same – although the video advertising it as the “first ever WWE Starrcade” raises the possibility of a big promotional push. It’s more likely mere bluster though.

Starrcade 2018’s card in full:

Cincinnati Street Fight

The Shield vs Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre

WWE Championship

AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe

Smackdown Women’s Championship (Steel Cage Match)

Becky Lynch (c) vs Charlotte Flair

United States Championship

Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Rusev w/ Lana

Smackdown Tag Team Championship

The New Day (c) vs The Bar

Special Performance

Elias with Ric Flair

Though it hasn’t even been a full month since Becky Lynch turned heel, WWE could be on the verge of flipping the switch again at Hell In A Cell this Sunday (16 September).

Per Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Radio (and a host of other sources), the company may pull a double turn during the pay-per-view’s SmackDown Women’s Championship bout, with Lynch once again going babyface, and Charlotte Flair switching to the villainous side.

This would be consistent with the duo’s post-SummerSlam presentation. Becky has been presented as more of an anti-hero than an outright heel, while Charlotte’s entitlement has been pushed to the forefront, adding fuel to the “female Roman Reigns” fire.

Lynch’s initial turn was rejected outright, with fans cheering ‘The Lass Kicker’ as she left Flair in tears on 19 August. Few fans actually want to jeer her, while Charlotte is a natural heel and the clear wrongdoer in this storyline. Thus, flipping their alignments so that they’re in-line with current crowd reactions makes all the sense in the world.

It’d be a very un-WWE thing to do, but many will be hoping the company make these changes at HIAC.

With wrestling in her blood, it always seemed to be destiny that Carmella would one day become a WWE Superstar. Her father, Paul Van Dale, was a jobber for WWE during the Golden Age and she comes from an athletic background herself.

Carmella talked about her path into the wrestling industry with KATC TV ahead of SmackDown airing from the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana.

“I have a background in dance so I danced my entire life, since I was three years old,” stated Carmella. “And I cheered in the NFL [for the Patriots), in the NBA [for the Lakers]. My dad was a wrestler back in the early 90s, so it just brought everything full circle with my dad’s background and my love of performing and entertainment, and now here I am in the WWE.”

Carmella cheered for the Patriots for three seasons before applying for Tough Enough in 2010. But she then withdrew her application after landing a role as a Laker Girl. She would finally join NXT in 2013 and made her main roster debut on SmackDown in 2016.

After becoming the first Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella cashed in and defeated Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in April 2018. But Charlotte won back the title at SummerSlam (with some help from Becky Lynch) and Carmella is eager to regain the title that was once hers.

“Well, Charlotte Flair,” Carmella responded when asked who her rival is. “She took my title from me. I did beat her twice, however she beat me and took my title from me unfortunately. But I’m gonna get it back.”

The line-up for the upcoming WWE Evolution pay-per-view was seemingly leaked on social media last night.

Despite the event still being over a month away, and WWE having only official announced two matches – Trish Stratus versus Alexa Bliss, and Mickie James taking on Lita – the card appears to show twelve matches set to take place alongside a special announcement (which many assume is the unveiling of WWE’s Women’s Tag Team Championship), and an appearance by the stars of GLOW.

As anticipated, the main event appears to be Ronda Rousey against Nikki Bella for the RAW Women’s Championship, with a rematch between Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship beforehand. The 2018 Mae Young Classic Final is also confirmed as well as a four-way for the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Kairi Sane defending the NXT Women’s Championship against the winner of a 20 women Battle Royal is set to take place earlier on in the night.

There are returns for former stars Ivory, Beth Phoenix, and Kelly Kelly, who are all involved in tag team matches. Ivory partners Sasha Banks and Bayley in a match against the Riott Squad, whilst Kelly is paired with Alicia Fox, and Phoenix teams with Natalya in a four-way for the Women’s Tag Team Championship which also features The IIconics and Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. It’s something of a surprise that Banks and Bayley are not set to conclude their feud in Uniondale.

Former Women’s Champion Melina is another set for a comeback, facing two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi, whilst we appear to have an interbrand match between two former NXT Women’s Champions, Asuka and Ember Moon.

We are still six weeks away from WWE Evolution, and a lot may yet change. Check back for more as it emerges.